Through the fog and wild thickets of the rural Midwest landscape lie isolated and zealot sectors of Christianity. Spiritual leaders in closed communities build proverbial arks containing traditions of hierarchy, which create a culture of erasure and duty, all the while hiding under the guise of biblical rhetoric. Between the theatrical displays of belief, tensions exist between religious canon, community, and the emphasis of spiritual myopia. My work attempts to modernize biblical stories and rural cultural mythologies in a way that highlights forms of injustice or hierarchy through means of collage. The subjects and mediums used to create my work are often symbolic and juxtaposed in the hopes of the viewer being able to re-code and re-imagine the separate collaged parts creating contemporary fictions.
These images, containing twisted elements of biblical motifs, attempt to subvert the stories that help structure rural environments. In these layers, paint obscures and embroidery re-structures fabric while simultaneously re-branding and contextualizing the full image. The figures, collaged into the landscapes, are often layered as if being consumed or destroyed by their surroundings. The use of paint, embroidery, and other techniques of embellishment already exists within religious material culture. So by adopting similar methods and kitsch or ironic appropriation, I attempt to unhinge the binary connections within Christian canon and moral policing. The cynical use of religious symbolism and romantic techniques help exacerbate anxieties surrounding lack of order or understanding of one’s surroundings.